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Excellent Ervine frustrates New Zealand on day three

OmnisportOmnisport 8/08/2016 Nicholas McGee

CraigErvine-Cropped: Zimbabwe's Craig Ervine © Provided by Omnisport Zimbabwe's Craig Ervine Zimbabwe's Craig Ervine produced a superb maiden Test century to frustrate New Zealand in their bid to clinch a series whitewash on day three in Bulawayo.

The hosts, trailing 1-0 in the two-match series, began on 55-0 - behind by 527 runs after hundreds from Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson helped New Zealand to 582-4 before their declaration.

And the Black Caps had little difficulty in making inroads with the ball, reducing Zimbabwe to 147-5.

However, Ervine proved immovable at the crease, hitting 15 boundaries on a favourable batting surface to reach 115 not out at the close, his partnership of 148 with debutant Peter Moor (71) taking Zimbabwe to 305-6, although New Zealand still lead by 277 and can afford to have hope of knocking off the tail and edging closer to a comfortable win.

Tino Mawoyo (26) fell in the sixth over of the day before Ervine was brought to the crease when Sikandar Raza (3) edged Neil Wagner (1-51) to Williamson.

Chamu Chibhabha added 29 to his overnight unbeaten 31, but Mitchell Santner then struck twice in a little more than six overs to remove the opener and Prince Masvaure (2), leaving Zimbabwe teetering on 115-4.

Sean Williams was trapped lbw for 16 as he made the mistake of trying to reverse sweep a full delivery from Ish Sodhi (2-41), but the New Zealand leg-spinner was made to wait for the final wicket of the day as Ervine and Moor mounted strong resistance.

Finding particularly joy through the on-side, Ervine took the fight back to New Zealand in fine fashion, reaching the landmark 100 by hitting Tim Southee (1-64) through cover.

Moor scored at an impressive pace at the other end, bringing up 11 boundaries in his 125-ball innings, but his inexperience cost him his wicket as the 25-year-old pulled a Sodhi long-hop to Martin Guptill at midwicket.

Ervine and Graeme Cremer survived until stumps, but, despite the former's exploits, Zimbabwe still have plenty of work to do to emerge with a creditable draw.

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